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Dual Track Reforms: With and Without Losers

By Jiahua Che and Giovanni Facchini

Abstract

The dual track approach to market liberalization has been widely recognized as the key to the success of the Chinese economic reform. In this paper we study the effectiveness of this strategy in economic environments where the status quo government control is incomplete. We show that in a dynamic context intertemporal arbitrage will emerge, potentially resulting in efficiency losses and/or adverse distributional effects. Only when the status quo involves both price and quantity interventions by the government can dual track liberalization maintain its appeal. Our analysis thus suggests some caution as for the broader applicability of this reform mechanism.Dual Track Liberalization, Intertemporal Arbitrage, Pareto Improving Reforms, China

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